Summary: There hasn’t been a lot of attention paid to Johnson in the lead up to the 2015 NFL Draft, but if you ask NFL teams, they don’t have a bad thing to say about him. They feel that he could use more weight on his frame, but they feel that can be remedied with some time in a NFL strength and conditioning program. In terms of skill set, Johnson has everything you look for. It makes one wonder if he would be a top-16 pick if he had played at a school with more hype, like Alabama.
Johnson is a tall corner who has long arms, quick feet, speed and physicality. He can match up with speed receivers and blanket them in and out of their breaks. He runs the routes with receivers and prevents them from getting separation. Johnson has quick feet and is agile. He can flip his hips open and run with receivers down the field. Johnson also is is tall and physical to take on big receivers. He is an asset in the red zone and able to win the 50-50 throws. He also is a willing run-defender.
The senior recorded 43 tackles with six passes broken up and one interception in 2014. Teams avoided typically avoided him and threw at other receivers. In 2013, Johnson recorded 58 tackles with three interceptions and 12 passes broken up. As a sophomore, he had 58 tackles with 15 passes broken up and three interceptions.
In speaking with sources, one general manager was raving about Johnson’s workouts for teams. Other scouts told WalterFootball.com about how there really aren’t any weaknesses in Johnson’s game. He’s ready to compete in the NFL, and in time, he should be a good starter. Johnson looks like a pick for the back half of the first round of the 2015 NFL Draft.
Player Comparison: Chris Gamble. In the 2004 NFL Draft, Gamble was the 28th-overall pick. He was generally a quality corner for the Panthers and had a good career. Johnson has comparable size to Gamble (6-1, 200), and their skill sets are similar in that they had the size to matchup against big receivers and the speed to take on fast wideouts. Johnson should go in the same range of the draft as well.
NFL Matches: Minnesota, New Orleans, San Francisco, Miami, Philadelphia, Arizona, Baltimore, Indianapolis, Green Bay, New England
There are a lot for teams that are in the market to improve their cornerbacks and the free agent market was consumed quickly, so Johnson has a number of landing spots on Thursday night.
Minnesota is in the cornerback market for a partner for Xavier Rhodes. With the passing attacks in Green Bay, Detroit, and Chicago, the Vikings are going to need a top notch secondary. Plus, Mike Zimmer is always inclined to take a corner in the first round. The 11th pick is too high for Johnson, but if Minnesota traded down or up from its second-rounder, Johnson could be a target.
The Saints signed some veteran help, but they could consider more cornerback help. Johnson could be in play for their pick at No. 31 that was acquired from Seattle. San Francisco and Miami also could us a long-term starters at corner. Both teams have some age at the position. However, Johnson would be too rich at either team’s first-round pick and would probably only be a viable target if one of those organization’s moved down.
Philadelphia signed some veterans, but could still consider cornerback help. Johnson could be the nickel before eventually becoming a starter when they save money by cutting a veteran.
Arizona needs a cornerback to replace Antonio Cromartie, and Johnson has the skill set that Cardinals look for. He could form a nice duo with Peterson.
The Ravens need to improve their cornerback play and could definitely be a landing spot for Johnson. The Colts could use a long-term starter to pair with Vontae Davis.
Green Bay lost some veteran corners in free agency and likes big cornerbacks who can run. Johnson should be in play for the Packers.
With the final pick of the first round of the 2015 NFL Draft, Johnson could fit the Patriots as they have to replace Darrelle Revis.
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